chapter ONE All About Seamless Knitting 6
Seamless Construction 7 Using Charts 14 Balancing Stitch Patterns 16
Preventing Jogs in Patterns Worked in Rounds 23
chapter TWO Make It Fit! 27
Taking Measurements 27 Determining Gauge 29 Changing an Existing Pattern 31 Designing Your Own Seamless Garment 33
chapter THREE Lace Patterns 41
Designing with Lace Patterns 41 Shaping in Lace Patterns 41
Combining Lace with Other Stitch Patterns 47
projects Lace Cardigan 48 Lace Pullover 60 Lace Stockings 68
chapter FOUR Cable Patterns 74
Designing with Cable Patterns 74 Shaping in Cable Patterns 76
Combining Cable Patterns 77
projects Cabled Tunic 80 Cabled Cardigan 90 Cabled Top 106 Cabled Cowl 116
chapter FIVE Textured Stitch Patterns 122
Designing with Textured Stitch Patterns 122 Shaping in Textured Stitch Patterns 125 Combining Textured Stitch Patterns 127
projects Textured Jacket 128 Textured Pullover 142 Textured V-Neck Top 152 Brioche Hat and Fingerless Gloves 162
Glossary of Terms and Techniques 170
Sources for Yarns 180
Do you have the pieces of a garment hidden in a closet somewhere just waiting to be sewn together? If you’re like a lot of knitters, those pieces have been waiting a long time because you prefer knittting to sewing. That goes a long way in explaining why we design as seamlessly as possible, but there are many other benefits as well.
Because there are no seams to sew, it takes much less time to put the finishing touches on a seamless garment—just bind-off, weave in the loose ends, block, and you’re done! Because there are no seams, seamless garments tend to be less bulky, which is good news if you like to work with bulky yarns. Because there are no seams, you can be confident that there will be the same number of rows in the front and back to the armholes— no need to juggle mismatched lengths.
If you work seamlessly from the top down, whether you’re working in rounds or rows, you have the added advantage of being able to try on the garment and adjust the armhole length or the waist shaping for a perfect fit. If you work seamlessly in rounds, the right side of the fabric is always facing you—you don’t have to worry about gauge differences between right- and wrong-side rows and color and stitch patterns are much easier to work, especially those that involve pattern on every row.
In The Art of Seamless Knitting, we will take you on a journey to a deeper understanding of various seamless constructions and their usage with different stitch patterns, including the details that go into designing or customizing existing patterns. We’ll discuss placement of stitch patterns for a flattering fit, converting flat patterns into working in the round, how to read and use charts, and much more. You will learn about the importance of gauge and how to use a swatch for your own designing to get the best custom fit. In addition to all of the technical information and in-depth topics, we offer a collection of 11 designs that apply the essential elements of seamless design and knitting.
The projects in this book are divided into chapters based on the type of stitch pattern used: lace, cables, and texture. Each chapter addresses particular design elements and techniques relevant to successful seamless construction. Tips and tricks offered throughout the book will help you to experiment with and make any design seamlessly yours.
We hope you will enjoy using book as much as we enjoyed writing it.
All About Seamless Knitting
There are many ways to work seamlessly. Most of us are familiar with the classic raglan or seamless yoke styles. But almost any construction can be converted to seamless knitting if given a little thought, calculations, and good planning. Instead of ending by sewing pieces together, stitches are picked up along the edges of the existing piece for sleeves, collars, and edgings, and worked as extensions of these pieces.
Garments are typically worked from the top down or from the bottom up, and there are advantages to each method. Garments worked from the top down are easier to adjust for length and width, since you can try them on as you knit. The drawback is that you don’t always have absolute control over shaping the yoke or neck openings, because these parts are closely related to armhole depth. So in some cases, a design decision is dictated by math.
Garments worked from the bottom up give you more control over the design process because they most closely mimic knitting flat (back and forth in rows) in pieces. The only difference between knitting flat and knitting seamlessly is that in seamless knitting we work all the sections in one piece right from the beginning, rather than sewing them up after they have been knitted. Some styles can be completely converted into seamless knitting while others, such as garments with set-in sleeves, require a bit of sewing. We believe that the best fit for set-in sleeve styles occurs if the sleeve caps are knitted flat, then sewn in place, which is the method we employ in this book.
Most knitters equate seamless knitting with knitting in rounds. Even though this method is most commonly used, seamless knitting can also refer to garments knitted in rows, in which the body is worked in a single piece, as for cardigans.